by Scott Creighton (H/T Stan Stonebreaker)
Hitler wanted to bring fascism to the world under the banner of the German nation. Today’s fascist look to create charter cities without laws but rather “rules” set forward by the leadership of whatever corporate entity owns them. There are already not-for-profit think tanks established to begin the process of normalizing this ideology and the facts on the ground are striking in their purely fascist reactionary plans. What people like these are trying to put together is worse than Hilter’s world view and more all encompassing than the Gilded Age company towns which at one point claimed a third of the citizens of the United States as part of their company assets.
Back during the height of the Gilded Age which is the socioeconomic state we are rapidly regressing to, the company town was the pinnacle of absolute totalitarian corporate/state control (fascism) over the people. The company or more specifically the man or family who owned the company, ruled the town like a god, Lord or Pharaoh, controlling every aspect of communal life and profiting from every transaction withing it’s walls.
Company towns started popping up in this country around 1850 in Chicago (imagine that) with most of them long gone by now, killed off by the dreaded New Deal program of FDR and the insane notion that workers had a right to fair and equitable treatment from employers while being paid a fair living wage for the hours they work and the skills they have. The New Deal also forced a national minimum wage on corporations, which effectively sounded the death knell of the company town. That fact is important to remember in the rest of the article.
Of course, like so many other nasty little tricks which we picked up over the centuries like slavery, imperialism, neoliberalism, libertarianism (same thing), Free Masonry and the privately owned central banking system, we had Britain to thank for the company town model (or the “Model Town” as they called it) which their oligarchs simply love to death.
Thanks to a heads up from a few readers here, I just found out that they are busy working behind the scenes (as that is what they always do) to bring the good old fashioned Company Town model back with a new and improved twist or two.
To start with, I was linked to an article on Cryptogon which talked about a couple recent MSM news articles describing how various companies are ready to start construction on 3 new privately run cities in Honduras. Right now the idea is to take land and build these private cities on them which will be separate from the host country in terms of laws and governing structure of any kind. These cities will set their own “rules” (not “laws” mind you, important distinction) and control their own borders and immigration. They will set their own trade deals and structures and obviously control industry and commerce within their borders. They will be completely autonomous and run by what appears to be an unelected board of directors meaning there will be no government at all.
No government except of course for whatever taxes they force the people to pay for the running of their corporate town.
It’s interesting to note who is on the first of these city boards of directors, calling themselves the “Transparent Commission” (as if anyone believes that) as noted by Crytogon…
George Akerlof – Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley, Senior Resident Scholar at the International Monetary Fund, and Nobel Prize Winner
Harry Strachan – Former President of INCAE Business School, Director Emeritus at Bain & Co., and Managing Partner at Mesoamerica Partners and Foundation in Cost Rica
Ong Boon Hwee – Former Chief Operating Officer of Singapore Power and Former Brigadier General in the Singapore Armed Forces
Nancy Birdsall – President and Co-Founder of the Center for Global Development , former Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and former Executive Vice President at the Inter-American Development Bank
Paul Romer (Commission Chair) – Professor of Economics at the New York University Stern School of Business
Yes, that is the Bain & Co of Mittens fame and yes that is the IMF as well as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. You don’t get more globalist than those guys unless of course you wish to throw in a little Clinton Global Initiative for good measure.
As the people at Crytogon point out, the guy put in charge of setting up these little company towns is a self-proclaimed “libertarian” named Michael Strong with the MKG Group. Talk about “small government”, deregulation, and privatization… this is the libertarian wet dream which also just happens to be the neoliberal wet dream, the Washington Consensus wet dream, the Centrist wet dream, the Tea Party wet dream and as it just so happens, the fascist wet dream as well. Funny how that works ain’t it?
Strong, being the dedicated libertarian that he is loving “freedom” and all of that, doesn’t like the public education dollars being wasted without someone making a profit off of them, so on his website he lays out his grand plan of action…
“In order to create an educational system capable of improving the happiness and well-being of humanity, we need to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, government involvement in education at all levels, as well as government restrictions on the free pursuit of whatever occupation one desires. Government financing and regulation of education at all levels prevents the emergence of the more authentic, humane, and effective forms of education that we need. Thus around the world we need to move towards a principled separation of school and state, occupation and state, and research and state.” neoliberal Michael Strong on his WordPress site
Note how he also wants to eliminate “government restrictions on the free pursuit of whatever occupation one desires”. Later on his about page he explains that as the elimination of “government-enforced occupational licensing at all levels”. How about that? You want to be a doctor? Just say you’re a doctor. Want to be a pilot? Poof. You’re a pilot.
Laughingly Strong claims that sometime in the future we will be as horrified by government run public education as we are by the old child labor practices. Of course, when you deregulate industry and privatize education so that only the wealthy are allowed to get an education, then the obvious next step is to bring back child labor, which of course is already being called for.
You would think that Mr. Strong would understand that since his fellow libertarian Mike Lee has recently been pushing to end child labor laws in this county because they keep us from all that “freedom” they seem to like to talk about. That goes along with another Tea Partier in Montana’s state legislature who was pushing for the same thing. Seems like a trend that someone as well informed as Michael Strong would be hard pressed to miss, but I digress.
Here’s the thing, in these charter cities there seem to be no “laws” as it were. “Laws” and the mention of them are off limits.
Instead what you have are “rules” like any employee has rules at his workplace. Why? Laws are binding and require due process while rules are meant to be broken and or overlooked based on the given circumstances. Laws are governed while “rules” arbitrarily enforced. Rules can be changed at the drop of a hat in a corporate boardroom whereas it takes lobbying money and a bunch of time to change “laws” and god forbid you have to put the change up for a referendum vote by the people of the city. Hell, that would be democracy and that gets sticky as hell at times.
The following is taken from Paul Romer’s Charter Cities (dot) org site, the promotional end of his personal “not-for-profit” company town advocacy group… Romer you will note is part of that “Transparent Commission” mentioned before… small world ain’t it?
“In too many places, weak or outdated rules hold people back. Some rules limit who can sell power, so electricity is expensive. Others fail to contain crime. Others make it difficult to start a business or open a plant. Because of this, firms build new factories not in places where the need for work is highest, but in places where electricity is inexpensive, people and property are safe, and doing business is relatively easy. The few workers who manage to migrate from places with inefficient rules to places with better rules end up earning wages that are many times higher than what they can earn in the places they leave behind.” Paul Romer
You see, the good thing here is that they can set whatever environmental rules they want inside a nation that already has laws governing such things. For that matter they could make child labor legal, slavery could even be legal as long as no rule claims otherwise. They can dump toxic waste 10 feet from their border and allow it to drain into the water supply of a neighboring township which is not company owned and there is technically nothing that can be done about it. The sky’s the limit.
Now, when I say slavery is a very real possibility in this new set-up, I mean it. Just look at what Romer writes about the structure of one of his neoliberal wet dream cities:
The concept is very flexible, but all charter cities should share these four elements:
- A vacant piece of land, large enough for an entire city.
- A charter that specifies in advance the broad rules that will apply there.
- A commitment to choice, backed by voluntary entry and free exit for all residents.
- A commitment to the equal application of all rules to all residents.
“One country could serve as both the host and the guarantor. Another could be the primary source. For example, Brazil might create within its borders an open city with a special legal structure, inviting Haitians to be residents of this zone but not of Brazil as a whole. If conditions in Haiti do not improve or if local hostility to the UN’s MINUSTAH becomes excessively problematic, Brazil may need an alternative to the mission. A charter city in Brazil would give Haitians who want to live under Brazilian rules and policing a chance to do so, without forcing this arrangement on those who do not.” Paul Romer
So let’s say there are a bunch of unemployed people running around in Haiti who have yet to see one thin dime spent on them from those billions that were donated to do just that thanks to Hillary Clinton putting her globalist husband in charge of all that money. Instead of helping rebuild Haitian infrastructure and housing for the people who were devastated a few years back, Slick Willy started cutting deals with big business to hand over Haitian land to them and using the relief money to build Coke bottling plants to take advantage of the impoverished Haitian population.
Now, this proposal is kind of like the rackets in economically depressed countries where they promise young women good paying low skill jobs overseas and then ship them off to be sex slaves for the thousands of Saudi princes or get them hooked on heroin and put them out on the streets of Las Vegas till they’re all used up.
It’s like the plan they sell to young Indian students who were sent here on student Visas who ended up working for next to nothing at the Hershey plant under unspeakable conditions or the migrant workers who get locked into a season of company stores and cruel work only to return home with a few dollars in their pockets or worse, indebted and having to return next season or the workers who went down to clean up the BP spill to find they were paid shit and kept in fenced in compounds with armed guards roaming the perimeter.
This is the exact plan that Paul Romer is describing.
Go down to Haiti, tell those people they got jobs and prosperity waiting in this new “town” in Brazil and when they get there they discover that the hours are hellish, the pay is garbage, and EVERYTHING they make goes RIGHT BACK to the corporation that runs the town.
And here’s the funny part… when they want to leave, they find the company ain’t going to let them leave and the borders are CLOSED to them because though the town in technically in Brazil, it isn’t Brazil, and thus they can’t cross the well guarded border.
You think Coca Cola rules with an iron fist in Columbia? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Think about that for a second. The company not only controls the borders and the work and the living conditions inside the walled off city as well as all the “rules” one lives by, but they also control every means of communication outside the city.
So if you get there and realize it’s Land of the Dead (lawless post apocalyptic Green Zone run by corporate head) and you can’t escape (starting to sound like working at Disney ain’t it?) then guess what? You can’t even contact your family or friends outside the apartheid walls of your glorious city.
Feel free to fill in any other pop-culture references as you like… Hunger Games fits as does Logan’s Run, Children of Men, Blade Runner, Aliens, even Thunder Dome if you like. Anything’s possible with this set up which is of course why there is so much money out there for any neo-liberal/libertarian hack who promises to sing it’s praises.
When you consider the endgame profit margins, you start to understand the kinds of money were are talking about:
“These are just a few of many possibilities. The UN estimates that 3 billion people will move to cities in the next few decades. The question is not whether, it’s where and under what conditions. As it stands, many of the people moving to cities will end up in slums. There is a better option. The world has room for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of newly chartered cities. Whether they involve countries acting alone or in partnerships, charter cities can create opportunities for millions of people to access better rules and lead safer, healthier, and more prosperous lives.” Paul Romer
Romer understands the potential: half the world’s population living in for-profit work-camps cleverly disguised as cities where the company controls every aspect of your lives from your children’s education, to where you live, to where you bank, to what you drive, to who you socialize with, to what you eat, what you watch, what you know, to your health care, even to how long you live. Everything.
Everything controlled by a board of “Transparent Commissioners” from places like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase and Bain & Co., and the International Monetary Fund.
Oh yeah, that’s MUCH better than an elected government, ain’t it libertarians?
Quite remarkable how quick the slide toward total fascism is progressing. Remarkable how little resistance there is to it all as well.
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